Boeing made history a few weeks ago when it rolled out the first commercial airliner built outside of its manufacturing base in the Puget Sound region of Washington state: a 787 Dreamliner produced at its new final assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. For the U.S. airframer, it was a breakthrough after a changed approach to manufacturing that has been far from straightforward and uncontentious.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner took to the podium for the first time yesterday as BCA boss and, in the process, laid to rest any thought that the company has been dragging its heels on follow-on development of the 787-10X and 777X.
“We’re not backing away from the airplanes one bit,” said Conner. “We’re more committed now than ever. We just don’t want to get into specifics…When we get the aircraft right we’ll move forward.”
A rather brief, trying but largely proud chapter in the rich history of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) came to an end last week, when Jim Albaugh announced he would leave the company, three years before its mandatory retirement age.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh argued for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank April 27 during a brief speech celebrating the rollout of the first 787 Dreamliner from Boeing’s new final assembly facility in North Charleston, S.C.
Boeing signed over the first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airliner to Lufthansa today, ahead of a May 1 flight to its Frankfurt base. The manufacturer has now delivered three Intercontinentals, including two VIP airplanes, and 14 freighter variants to another five customers.
Embraer left no doubt about its lack of interest in challenging Boeing any time soon in the hotly contested narrowbody market segment, when the two companies announced last week they had entered a loosely defined “cooperation agreement” calling for a joint effort to “enhance operational efficiency, safety and productivity, improve customer satisfaction and create value for both companies and their customers.” Specific areas of cooperation incl
With Chinese customers having expressed a clear preference for larger private aircraft, it is little wonder that Boeing Business Jets has proved popular in greater China. Of the 10 BBJs sold so far, four are already in service–two with DeerJet in mainland China, one with MetroJet in Hong Kong and another with a private owner in Taiwan.
Boeing has increased the final assembly production rate on the 787 Dreamliner from 2.5 to 3.5 per month in Everett, Washington, a Boeing spokesman Monday. The rate increase took effect on March 1.
“Elements of the supply chain are already moving toward subsequent rate breaks in the future,” said the spokesman.
With growing demand for large executive aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, cabin completion and refurbishment centers specializing in bizliners are finding plenty of work to feather their own nests, and there’s more to come.
Boeing booked net orders for 805 commercial airplanes in 2011, fueled by a late flurry of record-breaking deals. The company also delivered 477 airplanes, ending the year with a backlog of 3,771 unfilled commercial orders.